June 6, 2011 nº 1,050 - Vol. 9


"If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere. You even smell it."

Thomas Mann

Insider's view: see how local concerns shape up the global world. Read the daily press review in Migalhas International.

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Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Top News

U.N. report declares Internet access a human right

A United Nations report said Friday that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law. The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest. "While blocking and filtering measures deny users access to specific content on the Internet, states have also taken measures to cut off access to the Internet entirely. The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." The report continues:" The Special Rapporteur calls upon all states to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during times of political unrest. In particular, the Special Rapporteur urges States to repeal or amend existing intellectual copyright laws which permit users to be disconnected from Internet access, and to refrain from adopting such laws." The report, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, comes the same day an internet-monitoring firm detected that two thirds of Syria's internet access has abruptly gone dark, in what is likely a government response to unrest in that country.

News and trends in tax treaties in Latin America

Professor Peter Byrne, a graduate of Harvard Law and a professor at Georgetown Law, will give an open lecture, in Spanish, on trends in tax treaties in Latin America on Wednesday June 8 at 5 p.m. (Washington, D.C.). Georgetown Law CLE offers this program in conjunction with Lex Mercator International Education. To register to this free event, please click here. Although it is conducted over the Internet, space is limited!

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Migalhas International, with the support of executive search firms, brings the best career and professional development opportunities to its readers. We call this service the "Magic Eye". Santivo Consultants is a recruitment consultancy, exclusively serving the legal market. Click here to go to our special webpage and find your next lease on life.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China: Teenager 'sells kidney for iPad'

A teenager in China has sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2. The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet.

US urges China to release Tiananmen Square protesters

The US DOS - State Department urged the Chinese government on Friday to release protesters arrested for the peaceful protests in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Friday marked the twenty-second anniversary of the suppression of the protests in Tiananmen Square. The DOS also asked the Chinese government to provide an account of those missing, detained or killed during the suppression. The US encouraged the Chinese government to protect universal human rights of peaceful dissenters and to release all that are detained, forcibly disappeared, or placed under house arrest in recent months. According to the right's group CHRD - Chinese Human Rights Defenders, the Chinese government has implemented the "most severe repression of dissent and activism since the post-Tiananmen crackdown," and has arrested and detained at least 48 individuals in the months leading up to the anniversary.

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  • Brief News

E-waste law reaches a milestone: 1bn pounds of computer junk recycled in California

Mountains of broken TV sets, obsolete computer monitors and outdated laptops that once piled up in California's garages, attics and basements have achieved a milestone. The state's electronic-waste recycling program has reached its 1bnth pound of unwanted electronics. That's more than any other state has recycled -- and amounts to roughly 20 million TVs and computers kept out of landfills. Where a decade ago, people had to either throw their old computer in the garbage or pay up to $25 each to find a recycler to take it, today schools, civic organizations and scout troops regularly hold fundraisers asking for the old machines. California's program has paid out $436m since 2005. After California's law passed, however, retail giants fought similar consumer-pay laws in other states. Now environmental groups and the electronics industry both want a national law but can't agree on how strict it should be -- or who should pay.

Mergers, takeovers in Brazil's ethanol industry

Mergers and acquisitions have transformed Brazil's once family-owned sugar and ethanol industry into a smaller number of big, professional and often international corporations since the 2008 credit crisis. Although deep-pocketed milling groups are now resuming some investments in a limited number of greenfield projects to expand crushing capacity, takeovers are still seen as the easiest way to enter and grow in the cane sector, which still bears the scars of the global financial crisis. Many milling groups and investors that had highly leveraged their expansion plans in the heady days of 2008, when oil reached $147 a barrel, were devastated when global credit system locked up later that year.

US judge allows Colombians to sue Chiquita

A judge in the United States has dismissed an attempt by banana producer Chiquita to halt multi-million-dollar compensation cases being brought by at least 4,000 Colombians. They allege they or their relatives were tortured or killed in banana-growing areas by paramilitaries paid by the company. Chiquita, which is based in the US, has admitted paying paramilitaries. But it says it will defend itself against the Colombians' claims. In 2007, Chiquita was fined $25m in the US for paying a Colombian paramilitary group - the United Self-Defense Forces or AUC - that the American government had listed as a terrorist organization. The company paid paramilitaries $1.7m between 1997 and 2004, the year it sold its banana holdings in Colombia. It says it was forced to make the payments in order to protect its employees, not because it supported terrorism.

E. coli puts spotlight on food chain complexity

The deadly E. coli strain which has never been seen in an outbreak before continues to baffle officials. In Germany hundreds of tests have been carried out, but they can't pinpoint the cause. Now, beansprouts organically grown in northern Germany are suspected to be the source of the E. coli outbreak. The authorities are still recommending that raw salad vegetables should not be eaten. The facts are that nearly 2,000 people have been infected. All but two of the cases involve people who reside in or had recently visited northern Germany. Some scientists suggest that most probably the source of the outbreak is in Germany and that food from elsewhere is safe. But they can't be certain. That is reflected in official comments coming out of Germany. The system of food production makes detection difficult. "Food markets have consolidated into the hands of a few large corporations that deal in tremendous volume. Larger volumes and longer supply chains, in turn, make trace-back more difficult and put a larger number of consumers at risk if there is an incident of microbial contamination somewhere in the system." "The E. coli outbreak in Europe shows just how hard it can be to pinpoint where things go wrong in such a labyrinthine system."

Portugal socialists admit defeat

With the ousting of the Socialist Party, the center-right Social Democrats were given a strong mandate to enact a grinding austerity program amid a $114bn bailout expected to pitch the country into a deep recession.

US employment in sharp slowdown

US employment growth registers a surprise sharp slowdown in May, while the unemployment rate also rises unexpectedly to 9.1%. The latest economic figures were worse than expected, suggesting the slow recovery is taking a few steps back. Housing prices continue to fall, stocks are down and consumer confidence is low. But it was the jobs numbers that really hit home. The days of low unemployment may be nothing more than a distant memory.

The hollywoodification of presidential politics

Early ads from 2012 candidates look more like movie trailers for a summer blockbuster. Sarah Palin will be the subject of a feature-length documentary in theaters this month. Do voters have to be entertained into paying attention?

Mladic receives month extension to review charges

Ratko Mladic made his first appearance Friday at the ICTY - International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, contesting the charges while simultaneously asking for more time to review them. Characterized by many media outlets as "defiant," Mladic saluted several times through the proceedings, referred to himself as "General Mladic" and smiled at some survivors of the massacre of Srebrenica who had come to watch the proceedings. Mladic, contesting the legitimacy of the court, refused to plead and requested a private audience to discuss his medical problems with the three-judge panel. He admitted that he received the indictment but had not read it and refused to let the court read it to him. Following the rules of The Hague, Judge Alphons Orie read his indictment regardless.

Spain high court overturns convictions of Nazi propaganda disseminators

The Supreme Court of Spain on Friday overturned the convictions of four individuals charged with distributing neo-Nazi propaganda. The four men were convicted and sentenced to up to three and a half years in prison by a court in Barcelona in October 2009 for advocating genocide and belonging to an illegal association. The men had been selling books and materials that defended the Holocaust from their bookstore and publishing house in Barcelona. The Court reasoned that disseminating Nazi ideology is not a crime unless used to incite violence or certain danger, or create a hostile climate.

Fourth Circuit finds it can rule on health care law challenge

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decided Thursday there is no conflict with the AIA - Anti-Injunction Act and that it can rule on two challenges to the health care reform. Last week, the court requested briefs from all parties in Liberty v. Geithner and Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius explaining whether the individual mandate can be considered a "tax" under the Act regardless if it is a "tax" for Article I purposes. Although the Obama administration had previously argued that the AIA barred suits against health care reform, they discarded this argument in their briefs and stated the case should proceed.

Goldman to fight Senate report

Goldman plans to accuse a Senate subcommittee of drastically overstating the firm's bets against the housing market in 2007.

Board seats for ex-CEOs

A surprising number of embattled CEOs, forced out for poor performance or legal problems, find a warm reception from outside corporate boards on which they sit.

Green-card lottery scrutinized

The State Department's Inspector General is reviewing the government's green-card lottery after thousands of people who had been told they won a chance for a U.S. resident visa were later notified they would have to re-enter the drawing.

  • Weekly Magazine Review

Time
What I Learned From My Cancer Scare. I'm a famous doctor. I give advice to millions of people. But it turns out I'm a lousy patient.

Newsweek
The Mormon Moment. They've conquered Broadway, talk radio, the U.S. Senate--and they may win the White House. Why Mitt Romney and 6 million Mormons have the secret to success.

Business Week
Nokia Epic Fall. Market share dwindling, stock cratering, persistent takeover talk. How the CEO is trying to lead Nokia past its epic fail.

The Economist
The end of AIDS? Thirty years on, it looks as though the plague can now be beaten, if the world has the will to do so.

Der Spiegel
Der Feind im Essen - Ehec: Die Geburt einer neuen Seuche

  • Daily Press Review

Opposition wins Portugal election
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Nigeria graft police arrest ex-parliament speaker
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

We treated the victims of Yemeni clashes out of 'humanitarian motives'
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Ban calls for restaint after Golan shooting
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israel to complain to UN over Syria incitement of border violence
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Italian Jew who left Libya in '67 helps rebels heal PTSD
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Worker dies in Rafah smuggling tunnel collapse
Ma'an News Agency, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Yemen President escapes assassination
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen


Cable to warn against mass strike
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Gera in talks over Baggies return
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Socialists out as ailing Portugal opts for change
CNN International, London, England

Quake city rocked by aftershock
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Meet the three siblings who have NEVER missed a day of school in more than a decade
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Ryan Giggs' brother Rhodri 'dumps wife Natasha after discovering 8-year affair'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Back in the Day: fun to be at the YMCA
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

USA: Strauss-Kahn to plead 'not guilty', setting stage for trial
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Attackers kill seven in Northern Iraq
Independent The, London, England

Transneft profits creep up
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Universities 'complacent' over Islamic radicals, Theresa May warns
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Alastair Campbell in a spin as charity match turns ugly
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Aftershock rocks quake-hit NZ city of Christchurch
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

The U.S.' 1st Korean-American ambassador to Seoul
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Cyber war sabers rattle across the globe
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Bangladesh paralysed by strike
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

A cricket fan's letter to president Zardari
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

After midnight swoop, battle lines harden
Hindu The, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

'23 killed in Golan protest'
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Baba Ramdev gives UPA a sleepless summer
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Goa temple bans entry of foreigners, others impose dress code
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Greenhouse gas emissions hitting record highs
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Bangladesh paralysed by strike
News The, Left-wing, Karachi, Pakistan

Bagram airbase comes under rocket strike
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

UNEP calls for massive investments in forests
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Pa. girl survives 5-speller standoff to win bee
Sify News, Chennai, India

Gruesome US serial killer trial opens Monday
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Nigeria: Top Nigeria lawmaker arrested on corruption charge
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Case against Digvijay for calling Ramdev 'thug'
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Cairn restarts Arctic drilling, protesters removed
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

US missile strike kills 18 militants in Pakistan
Times of India, Conservative, New Delhi, India

Postal workers walk out in Montreal
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Haitian immigrants in DR receive cash to go back home
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

In defence of Harpe's position on Israel
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Asia-Pacific markets post bearish gains
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

WIKILEAKS - Paulwell's nine lives
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Syria says 23 killed in Sunday's Golan protest
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

McGill gives Shatner honorary degree
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

Nigeria speaker held over 'fraud'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

US 'kills' al-Qaeda chief
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

EGYPT: The downside of Rafah's reopening
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

Sudan's oil output to reach 490K bpd by 2012
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan

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